Boys' Latin claims its own tourney title Lakers win by half-point

Kenwood has five champs

January 07, 1996|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Kenwood produced five individual champions at yesterday's Laker Varsity Invitational, but in the end it was a two-team race for the championship and the Bluebirds weren't a part of it.

Instead, it was tournament host Boys' Latin that staved off the tournament's defending champion St. Mary's of Annapolis by a half-point for the team title.

The Lakers, who conceded forfeits in three classes, produced three tournament champs -- Rob Arnold (103 pounds), Jason Leneau (152) and Erik Fitez (171).

But it was the newfound success of some newcomers and underclassmen that had Boys' Latin coach Jim Currie shaking his head in amazement at his team's 155 1/2 -155 victory.

"Every team has its guys that they hope to be champions in the tournament but you really win and lose wrestling tournaments in the consolation rounds and we had some guys who are pretty new and who haven't had a ton of success who came in third," said Boys' Latin coach Jim Currie, referring to third-place finishers Gary Colbert (125), Gordy Worcester (140), Todd Barclay (145) and Alex Scott (160).

"St. Mary's has a very balanced team but I thought Kenwood was the team to beat because they have 12 strong wrestlers. We don't fill all the weight classes but the ones we do fill we have some young kids and solid kids."

One of those young, solid kids is Arnold, a freshman and a product of the Golden Ring junior league. Arnold defeated Mervo's Tavon Jackson, 15-4, to get to the final, where he pinned Ray Salas of St. Mary's in 2 minutes, 43 seconds.

Leneau, who was wrestling for the Lakers for the first time this season because of a shoulder injury he sustained playing football, appeared healthy throughout his four matches at 152.

"I missed this tournament with a chest injury last year and I wasn't going to miss it this year," said Leneau, who defeated Mervo Brian Cromwell, 8-3, in the finals.

"I've been getting rehabbed the last three months trying to get my shoulder back and I was just hoping to come here today and win a few matches and place somewhere near the top."

Most of Kenwood's five winners emerged from the lower and middle weight classes as Brad Thomas (112), Chuck Jones (125), Micha Mitchell (130), Terry Hagy (140), Bryant Mallory (189) finished first.

Thomas pinned James Hurt of City, 3:55 into his match, Hagy stopped Alex McCausland of Tatnall (Del.) 2:40 into 140-pound final and Mallory recorded his third pin of the day against Rob Hoffman of St. Mary's.

Spalding's Jimmy Foster (119) and Ben Ferguson (145) took first for the fifth-place Cavaliers by outlasting Kenwood runner-up Terry Tyler (6-5) and St. Mary's Chris Brown collected his second tournament championship of the season wrestling at 135.

"I've been wrestling with a lot of confidence lately," said Brown, who was champ at last week's invitational at St. Mary's-Ryken in Leonardtown.

"I've learned not to take anyone lightly anymore. I just go out and wrestle and try not to think about anything else and it keeps me focused."

Kenwood finished third in the team competition with 145 1/2 points, followed by Mervo (114) and Spalding (88).

Ernie Listman did all he could do to help St. Mary's cause as he downed City's James Thaxton in 2:40 to claim first in the 160-pound division.

Mervo's Garfield Thompson (125), who elected to wrestle this year instead of running indoor track, defeated Malcolm Harris of City in the quarterfinals before losing to Johnny Horrigan of St. Mary's and Gary Colbert of Boys' Latin in the third-place consolation.

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